Today, we will unpack an essential legal concept known as Double Jeopardy.
Let’s make it clear and easy to understand.
The Meaning of Double Jeopardy
Double jeopardy is a fundamental rule in law.
Simply put, it means that once a person has been found not guilty of a crime, they can’t be put on trial again for the same offense.
Picture a scenario where an individual has been tried for a crime, let’s say larceny.
After reviewing all the evidence, the court determines the person is not guilty.
After this verdict, the person cannot return to court for the same larceny charge.
If they were, it would be an instance of double jeopardy, which is prohibited by law.
The Role of Double Jeopardy in Law
This principle of double jeopardy is part of the U.S. Constitution. It protects people from being tried repeatedly for the same crime, ensuring fairness in the legal system.
How Lawyers Come Into Play
A lawyer could intervene if someone tried to put you back on trial for the same crime after you were acquitted.
They could explain the double jeopardy rule and argue that you cannot be tried again for that crime.
Firms like The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm are filled with professionals who can help.
Lawyers have a deep understanding of the law. They know the rules and ensure they are consistently and fairly applied.
While double jeopardy might sound complex, it’s a simple and fair rule: no one can be tried twice for the same crime after being declared not guilty.
If you find yourself in a situation where this rule is relevant, professionals like those at Rosenblum Allen Law Firm can assist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered double jeopardy?
It applies when the same government tries prosecuting someone for the same offense twice. This could be in a retrial after a mistrial, on appeal after an acquittal and retrial, or separate prosecutions by the same authority.
What does not count as double jeopardy?
It does not apply when:
- Different governments prosecute the person
- The prosecution is for a distinct crime
- The defendant agrees to a retrial after a mistrial
- A conviction gets overturned on appeal, and a retrial ordered
Can someone be charged twice for the same offense?
Typically no. Under double jeopardy, the same prosecuting authority cannot charge someone twice for the same crime. However, after a mistrial, they may face the exact charges again. An exception is when federal and state governments can prosecute for the same act.
How to raise a double jeopardy defense?
If you believe being tried or sentenced twice for the same crime violates double jeopardy, you or your lawyer can file a pretrial motion to dismiss on these grounds. Your lawyer may also object during the trial if prosecuted again for the same offense.
Does double jeopardy apply across state lines?
Yes, the Fourteenth Amendment protects state lines. Prosecution for a crime by one state prevents later prosecution by another state. However, a previous federal or foreign prosecution does not stop a state from prosecuting for the same act under dual sovereignty.
Double jeopardy – The prosecution of a defendant for a crime they’ve already been prosecuted for. The Fifth Amendment prohibits this at the federal level, and the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits it at the state level.
Dual sovereignty – The principle allows federal and state governments to prosecute someone for the same criminal act. This is an exception to double jeopardy protections.
Mistrial – A trial ending inconclusively because the jury can’t agree on a verdict, a severe procedural error, or some other significant problem arises. After a mistrial, the defendant may face the exact charges again in a retrial.
Retrial – A new trial ordered upon appeal of a case after the original trial ended in a mistrial, acquittal, or overturned conviction. Retrials can raise double jeopardy issues.
Acquittal – A not guilty verdict by a judge or jury that absolves the defendant of criminal liability for the charged offenses. An acquittal typically prevents retrial on the exact charges due to double jeopardy.
Appeal – A procedure allowing a higher court to review a lower court’s rulings and verdicts. If errors are found, a criminal conviction can be reversed or overturned on appeal.
Pretrial motion – Motions filed by the defense or prosecution before a criminal trial begins. They can address evidentiary issues, request the suppression of evidence, or seek dismissal of charges.
Sovereign – In the double jeopardy context, the prosecuting governmental authority – either the federal government or an individual state government.
Additional Resources for You
Here is a reminder of some other helpful resources related to criminal defense in Nevada that our lead attorney, Molly Rosenblum, Esq, has also created to assist you in your time of need:
For representation with criminal defense matters, see our guide on Criminal Defense Attorneys.
For an overview of felony charges in Nevada, read Felonies in Nevada.
Get comprehensive answers to your questions about Attorneys Answer Your Questions About Miranda Rights.
If you need legal defense related to firearms, consult our Firearms Defense Lawyers guide.
For assistance with theft charges, check out our Theft Defense Lawyers content.
Learn strategies for Winning Felony Cases in Nevada.
Get legal counsel for drug cases with our Drug Possession Defense Lawyer resource.
Find answers to marijuana possession questions in Marijuana Possession Questions? We’ve Got Answers.
For help with solicitation charges, see our guide Charged with Solicitation? We Can Help.
Remember, our website offers legal insights. Please reach out if you need assistance.
Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful
Here are some offsite resources that may add value to the content above:
Legal Information Institute – Double Jeopardy: This page from Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute provides a comprehensive overview of the concept of double jeopardy, its constitutional basis, and its role in the United States legal system.
FindLaw – Double Jeopardy: FindLaw, a trusted source of legal information, provides a detailed explanation of double jeopardy, its exceptions, and related legal principles.
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Double Jeopardy: This article by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) presents a simplified explanation of the double jeopardy law, its application, and its exceptions.
JSTOR – Double Jeopardy Law: This scholarly article from the Columbia Law Review on JSTOR provides a deep dive into the legal and historical context of double jeopardy. Although it is a bit more academic, it may be of interest to those looking for a more in-depth understanding of the topic.
A Special Message from Our Lead Attorney
Molly Rosenblum, Esq
Thank you for reviewing the resources I created to help those needing legal guidance.
I hope they have been valuable in providing information and understanding the legal landscape.
If you or someone you know needs legal counsel, please reach out to schedule a free consultation with me and my team.
We are committed to protecting our client’s rights and ensuring they receive solid legal representation.
Call us at (702) 433-2889 to schedule a free consultation.
I look forward to offering effective legal advice tailored to your situation.
Molly Rosenblum, Esq.